Travelling & Eating the High Country
I went on the road with chefs and sommeliers from MoVida as they sourced produce for two High Country Harvest events. It’s always such an enriching – and tasty – experience to visit food at its source, and I loved seeing it through the eyes of some of the country’s most talented and dedicated cooks and wine guys.
Enjoy the videos then head over to High Country Harvest for more than 50 ways you can eat and drink the region during this year’s festival.
The High Country is a large and varied region in Victoria’s north-east, about three hours from Melbourne. People often think of it as a place for outdoorsy activities, and there’s certainly plenty of skiing, cycling, horse riding and bushwalking. But I am passionate about discovering destinations through their food and drink, and the High Country certainly lets you do that. It’s not just that the food and wine is great, it’s also that the people producing it are dedicated (even dogged!) and super passionate about doing what they do where they do it.
A Five-Minute Regional Feast
In this video, we’re at Rushnot Garlic, where the fields are fertilised by beautiful Clydesdale horses and farmer Danni Schneider harvests the delicate garlic ‘pearls’ to sell at High Country farmers’ markets.
We do some serious research into sparkling wine, cheese, bread and cured meats from the region, and chef Frank Camorra cooks a tortilla – it was terrifying when he made me flip it!
Steve and Catherine Crawford’s farm isn’t big but they pack so many ideas and so much passion into their eggs, beef and market garden that it feels wonderfully expansive. Plus, their pasture-raised eggs are delicious!
Hall Stanley Chestnuts
How beautiful is Hall Stanley Chestnuts? Treading the autumn orchards, walking in speckled sunlight and learning about chestnuts from farmers Joy and Andrew Hall was a privilege and a pleasure. Even moreso when we got to roast their chestnuts at our evening bonfire. Check out these delicious chestnut recipes: Castagnaccio, Chestnut Butter (or with a little dark chocolate this easily becomes chestnutella), Pork Cutlets with Chestnut and Apple Hash, Necci, two ingredient chestnut pancakes with instant pear bircher muesli, Simple Roasted Chestnuts and a Marron, Chestnut and Pine Mushroom Risotto
Gamila is fantastic: passionate, smart, wry, formidable, dogged and…a cocktail fan. I loved chatting to her and learning about the emotional rollercoaster of farming saffron, which she does on a small plot outside Beechworth.
Saffron is one of those mystical, almost mythical ingredients, a prestige product that lends an exotic note to sweet and savoury dishes but a lack of understanding and quality supply mean people often don’t make the most of it. I love the way Gamila has set herself on a learning journey and lets us jump on her coattails and learn as she does.
If you love saffron and cocktails as much as I do then you’ll love this Rhubarb Saffrontini made with Gamila’s deliciously fragrant saffron essence.